Further supplementary memorandum submitted
by Sport England
COSTS OF CONVERTING WEMBLEY INTO ATHLETICS
As Iain Wilton indicated to Nicole Mulloy, on
8 March, Sport England would like to clarify the expected costs
of converting the new Wembley Stadium into athletics mode.
In oral evidence to the Committee, on 1 March,
David Moorcroft stated that these costs could amount to "maybe
not £95 million"the initial estimate of building
the proposed national athletics centre at Picketts Lock"but
not a million miles away from it".
As Mr Moorcroft indicated, he reached this figure
by adding together (i) the cost of the proposed athletics "platform"
at Wembley, (ii) compensation for Wembley's loss of income during
the process of assembling and then dismantling it, (iii) the proposed
£20 million payment from the FA/WNSL to Sport England, and
(iv) the cost of the warm-up facility that would be needed near
the new Wembley Stadium if it was to stage major athletics events.
In our view, however, these four sums do not
come close to providing a total figure of £95 million.
First, as we indicated during the Committee's
inquiry into Wembley National Stadium, both WNSL and Sport England
believe that the likely costs of conversion, through the "platform"
approach, would be £15-20 millionnot £30 million,
as Mr Moorcroft indicated on 1 March.
Second, although Mr Moorcroft did not provide
a figure for (ii), we are concerned that, in the past the likely
costs of compensation have been greatly exaggerated. For example,
the BOA's original submission on Wembley National Stadium put
this figure at £29 million. In contrast, as WNSL explained
to the Committee (in their letter dated 21 January 2000), the
true figure, in respect of staging the World Athletics Championships,
would be approximately £2 million. (This was based on the
conversion process taking six monthsalthough, as Bob Stubbs
told the Committee, on 27 January last year, WNSL and their architects
thought that, with further design work, they could "get that
down much tighter than six months").
Third, it is important to note that, under the
repayment schedule agreed between the DCMS and the FA/WNSL, the
final tranche of the £20 million will not be paid until December
2004by which time, because of inflation, it will be worth
appreciably less than when the £20 million sum was originally
agreed between the Secretary of State and Ken Bates in December
Fourth, as we indicated during the Wembley National
Stadium inquiry, we believe that a warm-up track, suitable for
the World Athletics Championships, could have been provided, at
Coplelands School, for approximately £2.4 million. While
it would not have been suitable for a Wembley-based Olympic Games,
we believe, as previously explained, that it would have been hard
to justify spending as much a £15.4 million (for the "South
East Corner" option) on an Olympic-compliant warm-up site
when the BOA had yet to decide whether to bid for the right to
stage a future Olympic Games in London and, moreover, it had yet
to determine what roleif anyWembley would play in
such a Games.
I hope this information proves helpful as the
Committee continues its inquiry into Staging International Sporting